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Bronenosets Potyomkin (Battleship Potemkin)

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Bronenosets Potyomkin (Battleship Potemkin)

Published 1925
Topics Silent, Drama, History, War

Considered one of the most important films in the history of silent pictures, as well as possibly Eisenstein's greatest work, Battleship Potemkin brought Eisenstein's theories of cinema art to the world in a powerful showcase;
his emphasis on montage, his stress of intellectual contact, and his treatment of the mass instead of the individual as the protagonist.
The film tells the story of the mutiny on the Russian ship Prince Potemkin during the 1905 uprising.

Run time 73 min
Producer Jacob Bliokh
Production Company Goskino
Audio/Visual silent with musical score, black & white
Contact Information


Reviewer: Super YiaYia - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 7, 2011
I have seen a few Russian movies and all I can say is Hollywood 'ain't all that'.

I love the way Eisenstein and Aleksandrov direct and show the scenes. I don't have a lot of savvy when it comes to movie tech lingo, but I do know what I like and see, and I like. It's like the movie was made this year 2011 not 86 years ago.

In some parts of the movie I cried and could feel the emotions, I was there with them. When a movie does this, it must be good!

Well, enough said, I hope you will enjoy this movie as much as I did.

Just Saying....
Reviewer: Tim Webb - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 9, 2011
Subject: Battleship Potemkin
I would like to use this film for a interactive Educational Editing workshop. I need to make sure I can use this with all copyright cleared.

Can you please let me know if this is possible asap.

Many thanks

Tim Webb
Reviewer: Cat Lady - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 12, 2008
Subject: Like a documentary
Having just watched "Alexander Nevsky," I was expecting this to be another highly dramatized Soviet-style polemic/drama. "Alexander Nevsky" is all that plus a poor print quality and a horribly garbled Prokovief score (this in the one at Google Video anyway; a better version is apparently out on VHS) -- not to mention the Stalinist-era flies crawling over the prince during scenes in his castle! -- and yet it still is fun to watch because of the way Eisenstein tells the story and films it.

"Battleship Potemkin" is different. There is a little bit of revolutionary talk near the start, but it very soon takes on the feel of a documentary. This may be because it was made only 20 years after the event. How else to film a historical event that your audience already knows by heart and perhaps even participated in, but to go to the place it happened and use your camera like a journalist's eyes to tell the story, not necessarily of the real events, but of those everybody wants to believe happened.

It just doesn't seem like a silent movie. It is very immediate and real, even in 2008.

There are some tremendous archtypes here, and the director is wise enough to strengthen them by not taking anyone's side but to just let everything unfold without explanation or justification, whether it be good ("Brothers!"), bad (the various murders), or ugly (the anti-Semitism).

The score, using excerpts of Shostakovich's symphonies, helps bring your heart into it, too; this is especially noticeable near the end where there is some fast camera work focusing on the ship's pounding machinery (and by inference, the crew's pounding hearts?) as "Potemkin" races to meet the incoming squadron. The music could have been written for that scene (see for a more detailed look at the links between this film and the music).

The Odessa Staircase sequence is one of the most harrowing film sequences I've ever watched. Never mind that there is debate about what really happened on that staircase in 1905; what is portrayed here *has* happened in many places, and not just in revolutionary settings, all over the world and throughout human history. The horror...the horror....

Eisenstein's genius shows in what follows, when he turns the sailors' response into an even worse horror, one unique to civil war, and shows close-ups of the faces of some of the animals on the opera house: even nature seems to be aghast at what humanity is capable of.

Well, I can't say too much more without giving away spoilers. This is a very high quality print; the sound of the score is terrific, and this is well worth watching again and again.
Reviewer: nigelho - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 31, 2007
Subject: The defining film of modern cinema
A groundbreaking film, up to this point the camera was placed in front of the actors and they filmed "the play". Eisenstein placed the camera as a third party in the action and from this moment the movies were born.

We have had some exciting technological advances to provide us with special effects, but this film is the start of modern cinema. No single director has made such an impact on our view of modern entertainment. 5 stars is not enough.
Reviewer: 6438929fjkd - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 15, 2006
Subject: Best ways to view the film
This is certainly one of the best film ever made, regardless of political persuasion.

The best way to see it is at the British Film Institute in London, where they took the trouble to restore the score (also on video if not DVD). If you have problems watching it, transfer it to a DVD, using one of the transfer modes available through cnet and elsewhere and watch it on your dvd player.

Also check out th6e other silent films of the Eropean theatre, lots of surrealist work from the Soviet era, which the West has ignored for too long.
Reviewer: geape - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 26, 2006
Subject: movies on mac
quicktime, even the last version or any, has the problem or been always too much 'legal' and then lacking compresors, codecs, to really 'read' all kind of files available out there. Since .avi and even .mpeg can be with much any codec and not be specified, typically quicktime just get stuck.... but download VLC, and you can -as I did- see perfectly well not just the Potemkin, but any other movie... if you really want to have a fully functional quicktime: 1. get pro 2. go to and download all available codes, and even there download the own VLC application for free!!!!!. By the way go and listen the full music score for this movie made by the Pet Shop Boys, not a wonder, but a curiositie.. : )
Reviewer: Ward Kaatz - favorite - February 8, 2006
Subject: file un-viewable
I have confirmed I have downloaded the entire file (821MB MPEG1), but I get a 100% black screen with no sound at all. Very disapointing indeed after 6 hours downloading.

I am running a Mac G5 with the latest OS X, I would expect to be able to view this file. The file information data appears complete. My quicktime app is up to date.

Does anyone know if I need any special support for quicktime on a Mac to view this?

my advice would be to not download the MPEG1 version. With this movie also available on netflix, I will try there.

In order to post this, I have to pick a rating, so I am having to select 1 star, certainly not fair to what I am sure is a fascinating and groundbreaking film.
Reviewer: faaus - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 5, 2006
Subject: A groundbreaking masterpiece!
The famous "expansion of time" method in the mess hall, the wonderful plot build, and many other innovative techniques make this film a classic!
Reviewer: Bent Forkman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 30, 2005
Subject: What can I say?
After aboout the first 20 minutes there are no characters left with names in this film. It's a brilliant example f how the cinema can achieve the archtypal and the epic when handled correctly. Comtemporary film is so petty by comparison.
Reviewer: Yodelling Llama - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 30, 2005
Subject: Brick.
While I am sure we are all indebted to Battleship Potemkin for its illustration of heretofore unseen film techniques, the film itself is actually rather dull. For film history students: recommended. For the general public: not so much.
Reviewer: dynayellow - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 26, 2005
Subject: Nice film
A bit dry to my tastes, as most silent films tend to be, this is nonetheless an engaging use of montage, and contains the famous "baby carriage falling down stairs" sequence that's been cribbed in several other movies.
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